Screenwriters’ chance to work “with” Wordsworth

A writers’ workshop is to be staged at William Wordsworth’s home near Ambleside to coincide with a new film festival.

The Wordsworth family are inviting 10 screenwriters to a writers’ workshop in the poet’s famous family house at Rydal Mount, on the theme of “literary beauty”.

The workshop will run alongside the first Inward Eye film festival being staged nearby at Zeffirellis cinema.

It is being organised by film producer Charlotte Wontner who is the great great great great grand-daughter of William Wordsworth.

Writers will receive treatment and story feedback and pitching advice – as well as lunches and walks in the beautiful countryside around the house.

Charlotte Wontner of Hopscotch films has worked with the award-winning actor Brian Cox who is to be patron of the film festival.

brian cox with chris and lottie

Brian Cox, centre, with Charlotte Wontner and Christopher Wordsworth Andrew

Dorothy Smith, MD of Zeffirellis, said: “With a nod towards the local artistry of Wordsworth’s works, Inward Eye’s carefully selected films will cover themes of Imagination (the all elusive Inward Eye), Love and War, Youth and Fear, and Time and Landscape. Other thematic areas of focus are farming, LGBTQ+, and BAME story lines. With a focus on local cinematic heritage mixed with inclusivity and literary beauty, Inward Eye’s vision is one we are very excited about hosting.”

Rydal Mount curator Emily Heath said: “We are very pleased to host this exciting new venture. It’s particularly special for us, bringing together the Wordsworth connection, and the new film festival in Ambleside.”

Said Charlotte: “This is an experience designed to help writers develop their ideas in a unique natural environment. Under the guidance of an experienced script editor and industry mentor, writers will have their script ideas developed with a plan for the international film market.”

The workshop will be hosted over three consecutive mornings from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th November. Included in the price are screenings and Q&A tickets, refreshments and lunches, and accommodation near Rydal Mount. To attend the workshop please submit your details and a treatment of your script idea to


For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

(Daffodils, William Wordsworth, 1807)




Dorothy Wordsworth heads to London

An exhibition first shown at Rydal Mount in the Lake District is to be displayed in London this autumn at the Royal Geographical Society.

Dorothy’s Room will be part of the Landlines exhibition, the inaugural show of the Wilderness Art Collective.

Created by the artist and researcher Louise Ann Wilson, Dorothy’s Room gives a new insight into the life of Dorothy Wordsworth. It was first staged last summer in Dorothy’s own bedroom in the house near Ambleside where she lived with her brother, the poet William Wordsworth, and his wife Mary.   Dorothy was an author, poet and diarist herself.

Louise Ann Wilson

Louise Ann Wilson

The new installation was created for Rydal Mount and used film, sound and objects brought in from the outside landscape. It was inspired by Dorothy Wordsworth’s Rydal Journals in which she describes “rural sights and sounds” in vivid detail and recollects the landscape and walks she was no longer able to do.

“In older age Dorothy gradually became house, bedroom and terrace bound, relying on memory to transport herself into the landscape she had once walked,” says Louise Ann.

“It was really radical at that time for a woman to walk in the landscape.”

Dorothy also brought “treasures” into her “quiet” room. The walls were hung with paintings, pots of flowers lined her window ledge, plants grew around her window, which framed the fells she once walked, sunshine and the “sweet sound” of a robin singing entered from the garden. William acknowledged the importance of her influence in some of his poems.

The exhibition last summer had a display of objects and artefacts on the bed, on whose pillows were copied scripts from the journals. There were knitting needles and thimbles, birds’ eggs, feathers, dried flowers and herbs. A repeating film of Dorothy’s landscape was projected onto the bedroom wall.

Dorothy's bed

Louise Ann Wilson has a Ph.D. in Theatre Studies from Lancaster Institute of the Contemporary Arts, Lancaster University, where she is a visiting lecturer. The Rydal Mount curator at the time, Peter Elkington, said: “This adds an extra dimension because it brings people to see Dorothy in a new light, in the very room where she spent a lot of her time.”

Now the project will be included in the show at the prestigious RGS in Kensington, and will showcase the talents of 15 artists in all, in aid of the charity Wilderness Foundation UK.

Dorothy's pillow

The Wilderness Art Collective is a non-profit group of creatives, artists, explorers and environmentalists whose work discusses the natural world. The Collective’s goals are to highlight the plight of the world’s wildernesses and wildlife; to act as a space for discussion about interaction with the environment; to encourage re-engagement with the natural landscape; and to promote preservation and care through art and other creative endeavours.

The new curator at Rydal Mount, Emily Heath said: “We are thrilled that a small part of our heritage here in the Lake District will be given a much wider audience in London. Dorothy’s room is loved by visitors who come here.”